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Walker-Stephens Family Papers


Held at: Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College [Contact Us]500 College Avenue, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania 19081

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Hannah Walker, daughter of Thomas and Margaret Walker, married Stephen Stephens, son of Stephen and Sarah (McVaugh) Stephens, Feb. 16, 1820. The families were members of Valley Preparative Meeting, which was under the care of Radnor Monthly Meeting. Stephen and Hannah Walker Stephens lived much of their married life on a farm in Chester Valley. They had five children. The third child was William Walker Stephens, born in 1824 in Willistown, Pa. His diaries make up the majority of this collection. His first wife, Joanna J., a non-Quaker, died March 23rd, 1852, aged 23, possibly in childbirth. They had two children, William May (1851-1866) and a daughter Joie, born in 1852, who married William Stephens. His second wife, Rebecca Taylor, died March 29, 1860, aged 28. They had a daughter Sarah, who married Nathan R. Walker. His third wife was Annie Rhodes, whom he married in an Episcopal Church Feb. 4, 1886.

William was disciplined for marrying out of unity and for joining another society by Radnor MM (Orthodox) in 1851. In 1852 Radnor MM (Hicksite) disciplined him for marrying out of unity as well, but he was not disowned. In 1882 William transferred his membership from Radnor MM (H) to Philadelphia MM (H). He was reported for marrying out of unity in 1886 but again was not disowned. He attended Girard Avenue Meeting and was buried at Valley Friends' Burial Ground, where many Stephens are buried.

As a young man, William moved to Philadelphia and was sent by T. C. Colket to Corning, NY, to manage some coal interests. He returned to Philadelphia and was made chief clerk of the Chestnut and Walnut streets car system. He was Secretary and Treasurer of the Germantown and Norristown Railway. He was residing at 2035 N. 15th Street, Philadelphia, at the time of his death. This collection also contains material of some indirect descendants. J. Aubrey Anderson married Lidie Walker McFarland, the niece of Sarah (Stephens) Walker. J. Aubrey Anderson was D.A. in Conshohocken, Pa. His wife Lidie was an overseer of Valley Meeting and founded the Gulph Mills Library with her sister Mary Cutler in 1933.

Papers include the diaries and day books of Hannah W. Stephens, 1857-1864, William W. Stephens, 1850-1902, and Annie R. Stephens, 1903. Also includes the account book of William W. Stephens, and the correspondence of J. Aubrey Anderson, Chief of the Norristown division of the American Protective League, concerning their investigations.

The collection is divided into four series:

  1. Correspondence
  2. Diaries
  3. Business and Financial
  4. Miscellaneous

Donor: Gift of Georgia Machemer, 1993

Records of the Upper Merion Board of Auditors, 1792-1846, the Upper Merion Literary Society. 1907-1913, the Upper Merion School Relief account book, 1933, and other related records were transferred to the Historical Society of Montgomery County.

The following materials were removed from the collection and transferred to RG 4/066 Pendle Hill Records:

  1. Volume of Woolman School Receipts & Disbursements Journal 1914-1923
  2. Volume of Woolman School Receipts & Disbursements Journal 1923-1930
  3. Pendle Hill School Receipts & Disbursements Journal 1930-1936

The following materials were removed from the collection and transferred to periodicals:

  1. Universalist Union Vol. 1 1835-1936

Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College
Finding Aid Author
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Friends Historical Library believes all of the items in this collection to be in the Public Domain in the United States, and is not aware of any restrictions on their use. However, the user is responsible for making a final determination of copyright status before reproducing. See

Collection Inventory

J. Aubrey Anderson, Chief of Norristown Division of the American Protection League, 6/1917-4/1918.
Box 1

Hannah W. Stephens Day Book, 1857-1864.
Box 1

The first page of Hannah's day book is labelled "Walker and Stephens Day Book;" pages 2 and 3 include cures and a list of "Union and Rebel Victories."

William W. Stephens, Vol. 1, 1850 1mo. 1-1851 8mo. 20.
Box 4
William W. Stephens, Vol. 2, 1851 8mo. 21-1856 9mo. 20.
Box 1
William W. Stephens, Vol. 3, 1856 9mo. 21-1863 12mo. 31.
Box 1
Scope and Contents

Many pages of clippings pasted into the back of the volume.

William W. Stephens journals, 1855-1876.
Box 2
Physical Description

21 volumes

William W. Stephens journals, 1877-1902.
Box 3
Physical Description

26 volumes

Annie R. Stephens journals, 1903.
Box 4

William W. Stephens, Account book, 1857-1875.
Box 4
Scope and Contents

One page is dated 1919 is another hand.

William W. Stephens, Family Expense Book, 1860.
Box 4
J. Aubrey Lidie Anderson Mortgages, Bonds and Agreements, 1911-1915.
Box 4

Commonplace book of a ----- Rhodes, n.d.
Box 4
Philadelphia Reading Railway Passes for W.W. Stephens,., 1901 & 1902.
Box 4
Ticket to Closing Exercises at Friends' Central School,., 1904.
Box 4
Calling cards.
Box 4
Franklin Temperance Society of Upper Merion Township badge.
Box 4

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